Dutch media outlets have responded badly to the announcement that plans for an LGBT-only ‘Gay Village’ backed up by officials, were actually a hoax intended to draw attention to LGBT issues.

The hoax, by Roze Maandag, was announced yesterday, after the story, backed up by city officials in Tilburg, including the town’s mayor.

The website of the Gay Village Project, was revealed as an elaborate hoax intended to raise awareness of LGBT issues.

Dutch news outlet the NOS and NRC daily newspaper wrote an angry letter stating that their credibility had been damaged, taking aim at officials who went along with the story.

“We are extremely annoyed by the way the Tilburg council handled the matter,” read the letter.

“The Tilburg municipality deliberately misled the press and allowed them to publish incorrect information.”

News outlets had reported that property developer Blauwhoed made the proposal for an LGBT-only development in in Tilburg, citing a poll that found 22% of gay people were uncomfortable in their own neighbourhood.

Tilburg mayor Peter Noordanus, and other officials,  welcomed the plan. Noordanus said: “A tolerant city is pleased to have a gay community within its borders.”

The organisation hosts a day of the Tillburg Fair, which is speciifally dedicated to LGBT issues.

Roze Maandag posted on its website stating: “Although Gay Village is not real, intolerance against the gay community is.”

Despite being a hoax, the story was met with criticism and anger. Many argued that the LGBT community ghettoising itself would do nothing to help tackle homophobia and transphobia.

The group said it was pleased that the story gathered negative attention, stating: “to the effect that a gay village is indeed ‘ridiculous’”.